What is the most exciting thing about pitching?
Winning. Or even better – derailing the pitch.
What piece of advice would you give clients who are putting their business up to pitch?
Be completely clear about what you seek to achieve and the criteria on which you’ll base your decision.
Tell us about your best / worst pitch moment.
As a fairly junior client I had to pitch to a retail buyer who threw me out of his office – literally, picked up my briefcase and chucked it down the stairs. The following week he signed the deal. Dramatic negotiating tactics haven’t fazed me since.
What single thing do you think is most important for clients to realise when pitching?
Pitching is time-consuming and expensive; there are other ways of finding the best partner.
What one thing would you like to change about pitching today?
The pitch process is an inefficient use of resources; early selection based on chemistry and approach achieves a better result.
Please submit any ideas or experience with alternative pitch processes.
We believe in getting to know our clients off-site – in the bar, the supermarket or whatever environment their brands operate in. We get to know each other as people, and we also get close to their customers by watching them, listening to them and interacting with them.
We’ve derailed a fair number of pitches, sometimes by refusing to be involved in a full-on competitive, creative pitch. It’s made clients question the pitch process, and, of course, its shows a lot of chutzpah on our account, which is intriguing enough for prospects to want to get to know us better. If they want to fashion us into a replica of a previous agency then we are probably not the right people to talk to…